Black lives matter.
How to Help Like Artists and the Music Industry Are Doing in the Wake of George Floyd’s Death — Billboard compiles a list of efforts from the music community to support protests and calls for reform in policing and racial justice. Many other sectors of the creative community—like publishing, video games, photographers, theatre, libraries, and others—have also responded and called for far greater efforts to address the long history of denying equal respect and dignity to black Americans.
U.S. Copyright Office roundup — my colleagues at the Office are certainly keeping themselves busy. This week, among other things, the Office announced it is soliciting public comments on best practices for the mechanical licensing collective to identify owners of unclaimed royalties under the MMA (the announcement was accompanied by a report on collective rights management practices around the world, which could help inform those best practices); it is also seeking public comments on copyright infringement by states and state entities, following the Supreme Court’s sovereign immunity decision in Allen v. Cooper; and it will be holding its ninth webinar on Copyright Office modernization, focusing this time on “the development of the online Copyright Public Record with a prototype that demonstrates simple keyword search, advanced search, filters, and the new design language of the Enterprise Copyright System.”
AFM & SAG-AFTRA Owes Session Musicians and Background Vocalists $46 Million — Here’s How Eligible Performers Can Get Paid — Under the statutory license for digital performance of sound recordings by noninteractive services like internet radio, “nonfeatured” performers, i.e., session musicians and background vocalists, are entitled to a percentage of royalties collected. A recent settlement has initiated a process to distribute accrued royalties to those performers who are entitled to those royalties but have until now not been identified or locatable. Digital Music News provides information here on how to claim those royalties.
Instagram just threw users of its embedding API under the bus — But at the same time, potentially good news for visual artists. Ars Technica reports, “Instagram tells Ars that it’s exploring the possibility of giving users more control over photograph embedding. Right now, Instagram users can block embedding of their posts by switching their Instagram account to private. But that will also prevent users on the Instagram platform from seeing their content, too, which can be a career liability for professional photographers. Right now, Instagram offers no option to make content public inside the Instagram app while disabling embedding on external websites.”